Carnegie Deli, one of the most famous -- and infamous -- delicatessens in Manhattan, will close at the end of the year, just short of its 80th anniversary. According to an article at Grub Street, the restaurant is closing because the owner, Marian Levine, just wants to take a break.
Carnegie, of course, was known for its too-big-to-handle sandwiches, most of them named for celebrities. It was also know, to a more detrimental effect, for its rude waiters.
The Carnegie, which is at 7th Avenue and 55th Street, opened the same year, 1937, as the Stage Deli, just a block south. The two restaurants had a rivalry — a Battle of the Bialys or schmear campaign, if you will — for 75 years until Stage closed abruptly in November of 2012. Stage closed because of rent issues, which was not a concern for Carnegie because Levine owns the building.
Personally, I had always preferred Stage over Carnegie. The sandwiches were just a big, quite good, and the staff actually seemed happy for the business.
The Stage is now occupied by another delicatessen called the Stage Coach. It will be interesting to see if another deli moves in to the Carnegie location, and what it might be called.